December 16th, 2009

venn happiness

smoking in NYC hospital in 1999-2000

Hi!

The character in my story is a nurse at St. Vincent's hospital in Manhattan in December 1999 (one of the scenes takes place over New Year). He's an occasional smoker - during a particularly rough day he decides to have a cigarette (he has smokes/lighter with him). Where would he go? Could he smoke on the street outside or would he have to get farther away from the hospital? Which exit would he use? Is it likely he'd go up to the roof to do it?

Also, I understand that smoking areas in hospitals - especially in NYC - were shut down some time around 2000. I've tried googling but haven't come up with anything concrete - if anyone has any idea when exactly smoking areas were shut down at St. Vincent's that'd help as well :)

Thank you!

googled: smoking st vincent's manhattan, smoking st vincent's manhattan area
firefly - kaylee smile

Boarding schools, courtship & marriage in the UK, pre- and during WWI

Current research: I've googled and bing.com'd every combination of 'courtship' 'edwardian' 'turn of the century' 'world war one' 'boarding school' 'mourning customs' 'history' '1900s' and 'early 20th century' I could think of. I've wiki'ed and googled to my limit, and can find nothing that is what I need. I've also gone through the tags in this community & askahistorian (thanks all!) and found a good half of my questions already answered. I have a short list of books on these topics that I plan to get from my local library ASAP, but any suggestions for books, especially a good, broad overview of life in 1900-1920 Europe, would be greatly appreciated.

I'm writing a story based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden." It takes place six or seven years after the novel, appx. 1916 or 1917 England, so WWI is taking place, men 18+ are being conscripted, and food, clothing, & raw materials are being rationed.

At what age would children--male and female--of wealthy, upper-class families be sent to boarding school? How long would this schooling last before university? What would young women who were not going to university do after their schooling was over, but before they married?

How long would a woman of the upper class (or upper middle class) be courted before an engagement? How long would the engagement last? How old would the young man and woman in question be, on average, when they did marry? If they were significantly younger than that, what would society say? Would the ongoing war make young marriages more, or less, acceptable?

What were the social customs concerning war widows? How long would a young woman be required to wear black and publicly mourn her husband? If she were, say, 200 miles away from her in-laws, would it be talked about publicly if she decided to wear other dark colors, like navy, etc., instead of straight black? If the pair had been married less than a year at his demise, would that change things? All the research I've done said that a widow was expected to wait two years to remarry; would the war have changed that? Alternately, if they were not married, but only engaged, how would the mourning period change?

Thank you all in advance, little_details. I know this post is long, but I appreciate any help you can give me, or any books or websites you can point my way.
Making you into a dream

Bar closing time in NYC, c. 1970

This is just such a little thing, but I want to get it right. What time did bars close in New York City around 1970? I found through Googling that now it's 4am, but was that the case then? I tried searching the archives of the NYT for the few years around 1970 and found a few stories that (from the snippet I could see without paying) seem to suggest it was 3am, but also that there were after-hours clubs and the like. Basically my question is if someone wanted a drink in the wee hours of the morning, at what time would they be out of luck?
headshot

What, exactly, does an 'English Rose' look like?

Setting - modern day, real world
Searches tried - wikipedia and google on variants on 'english rose'

In my story, one of the characters is described as 'an English Rose' which I have described in one particular way (am not revealing this as I don't want to bias the answers). Trouble is, I am not sure I am remembering what the term actually means. I have a vague memory of what I remember thinking it meant - what physical characteristics a woman who has the 'English rose' look would actually have - hair, eyes, skin etc. but I am not sure if this is correct. Searches in various places seem to turn up different answers and so make me even more confused.

I got cold feet about this description early on but decided to leave it in to see what the critters said about it. None of them even mentioned it but I am not sure if this is because they believed it is correct or they simply missed it. So, can anyone please help me?